Thursday, April 22, 2004

Resistance isn't Futile after all

I went to Vegas this week to see the new Star Trek: Borg Invasion attraction at the Hilton. I was really looking forward to it for two reasons. For starters, it's Star Trek. Duh. Secondly, the Hilton has an existing Star Trek Klingon Encounter which is really good. I mean really, REALLY good. My expectations for The Borg were high.

At some level, all motion simulator rides are basically the same. There is some sort of "accident" and you have to get into a special "escape vehicle" to bring you back to safety. But the Klingon Encounter took it to a whole other level. The best word I can use to describe it is "clever". And that doesn't do it justice; there are some really creative things going on in there and it's just a whole lotta fun.

Borg Invasion includes more effects and technology than the original attraction. It has all the things you'd expect to see in a new motion-simulator ride (and have already seen in other attractions), but it doesn't have the flair or sense of fun of the original. I was very disappointed in it. Put another way, it's not Spock's Brain but it's no City on the Edge of Forever either.

Lesson re-affirmed: If you are making an amusement park ride, or a movie, or a videogame... creativity will beat out technology and a huge budget every time.

And speaking of Star Trek, have you been watching Enterprise? (*SPOILERS *) It has all the moral dilemmas of the previous series, but now Captain Archer is making all the ethically WRONG choices: Should we decompress someone in the airlock as an interrogation method? YES! Should we create a living, sentient clone, then kill it to harvest its organs? YES!! And then on last night's episode, should we attack a friendly alien ship and steal their warp coil, leaving them stranded in space for 3 years? YES!!! It may be too little too late to save the show, but it's really getting good.

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